ways to find distressed real estate

Ways to Locate Distressed Property Online

Are you a smart investor looking for great deals in real estate investing? Then you’ll want to spend your time searching for distressed property. Distressed homes provide excellent investment opportunities.

Distressed homes allow you a chance to buy them below market value and increase their value through renovation. They are tedious to locate, however, so have patience. As an investor, you must employ creative strategies to find deals with distressed houses.

The point is, you won’t find a seller advertising they have a distressed property. Unless they are really desperate to make a sale. This is rare. You must therefore conduct your search diligently.

In your hunting, the physical distress of a property might show a motivated seller. This is not always the case. The owner might not be interested in selling the property. Or other investors have already spotted the property.

To get these properties, you must dig deeper. Online platforms are wonderful sources of distressed properties. Do a thorough search to build a list of distressed properties to target in your real estate market. But how do you find these properties online? Let us find out in today’s guide below.


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What is a Distressed Property?

This is a property that is physically or financially neglected or both. It can be under foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, or just shabby.

Here’s a photo example of a home looking distressed.

distressed home

A foreclosed property is owned by the bank or a mortgage lender because of repossession. Others are owned by government agencies because of tax aliens and failed mortgage payments.

With a pre-foreclosure, the owner cannot keep up with mortgage obligations and risks getting into foreclosure.

Dealing in a distressed property will fetch you attractive profit margins. To find one, look for any of these categories:

  1. Government-owned homes
  2. Real estate owned/Bank owned properties
  3. Properties with delinquent mortgage payments
  4. Probate options
  5. Properties with delinquent taxes

Learn –> How to Increase Your Income and Master Your Money (Saving, Investing, Taxes)

How to Find Distressed Property Online

Before embarking on a property search, ensure you have a locality of interest. Let’s find out how to get each of the above properties using online platforms.

#1: Government-Owned Properties

Government agencies such as the US department of housing and urban development (HUD), and the International revenue service (IRS) have repossessed properties. They result from unpaid insured mortgage loans and unpaid taxes. The agencies then have to sell these properties.

To find these homes do an online search on these agencies’ websites. Some of the Websites include:

  1. HUDHomeStore.gov, where HUD homes are listed.
  2. VRMCO.com.This website has houses that belong to the department of veteran affairs (VA).
  3. Treasury.gov has  IRS seized property because of unpaid taxes.
  4. USDA website has foreclosed properties under the department of agriculture.
  5. The US Marshall lists property seized by the FBI, DEA, and  the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

#2: Real Estate Owned or Bank-owned Property

These are homes foreclosed by banks because owners have not met their mortgage obligations. You know what? These homes cost them holding fees when they are unsold. They aim to sell them as fast as possible to reduce expenses.

Each bank advertises homes on its own site. Check websites of banks in your chosen neighborhood to find lowly priced homes.

Learn –> How to Increase Your Income and Master Your Money (Saving, Investing, Taxes)

#3: Property with Delinquent Mortgage Payments

These are properties that are at risk of being foreclosed because of unpaid mortgages. The owners are the best-motivated sellers. They are always ready to sell at a discount as long as they do not foreclose the property.

You can find an official publication of these properties by doing a Google search of your county’s legal notices. Alternatively, they list the property on websites such as

  • HUDforeclosed.com
  • Foreclosure.com
  • realtyTrac.com.

#4: Probate Options

Probate property arises from the occurrence of significant life events such as divorce or the death of a family member. The individuals left in charge of the properties might not be willing to hold them. They are therefore potential motivated sellers.

Please note that buying a probate property requires a special process.

For example, some probate courts require a minimum deposit of 10% before making an offer on the property. Sadly, the deposit is nonrefundable. Whether or not you acquire the property. This is a turnoff for most investors.

However, if you don’t mind the procedures involved in purchasing these properties, you can check them out on SuccessorsData.com and USProbateLeads.com.

#5: Property with Delinquent Taxes

These are properties that the owners failed to pay their property taxes. To access them properly, search for your local tax assessor’s website. They have all the properties listed there. Scrutinize them, you never know, you might land a good deal.

Learn –> How to Increase Your Income and Master Your Money (Saving, Investing, Taxes)

Other Online Methods to Find Distressed Property

Apart from using specific property categories to conduct your search, you can try the following general sites.

#1: Property Auctions

To land a profitable deal, you must keep your eyes open for auctions. Properties for auction are listed on real estate websites such as RealtyBid.com, Tranzon.com, RealtyTrac.com,  and Auction.com.

#2: Distressed Property Websites

These are sites that specialize in listing distressed properties. They cover almost all distressed properties. Some have just foreclosures, others have all including bank and government-owned properties. Try out HomePath, Hubzu, and HomeSteps for a potential deal.

#3: The MLS

Search for distressed properties on multiple listing services the way you find other properties. Check on real estate websites like Zillow. Talk to a real estate agent to help you do a back-end MLS search.

Final Thoughts

Distressed properties provide a chance for wonderful property margins. This makes them attractive to house flipping and wholesaling investors.

Getting hold of a distressed property takes effort and time. You must employ several strategies in order to succeed.

Thanks to the internet your search has been simplified. Get into websites and conduct a thorough online search in specific localities. Select a property that meets your preferences and strike a deal.

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